Ligue 1

Ligue 1: Paris Saint-Germain Finally Reclaim Hexagoal Over AS Monaco

PARIS, FRANCE - APRIL 15: Players of PSG celebrate winning the French Championship following the Ligue 1 match between Paris Saint Germain (PSG) and AS Monaco (ASM) at Parc des Princes stadium on April 15, 2018 in Paris, . (Photo by Jean Catuffe/Getty Images)
Ligue 1: Paris Saint-Germain Finally Reclaim Hexagoal Over AS Monaco

It may not be enough to save Unai Emery from the sack, but at least the former Sevilla gaffer can say that he led the Paris Saint-Germain Footbal Club to the Ligue 1 title. A comprehensive 7-1 hammering of Leonardo Jardim’s AS Monaco secured PSG’s seventh Ligue 1 title before a bumper crowd at the world famed Parc des Princes.

“I’m very happy tonight,” said Emery. “The championship is the competition that demands the most consistency throughout the season. After the loss to Real Madrid, the team bounced back well. We showed our strength. We want to keep growing and continue writing our history, here in France and in Europe. The players were very focused tonight. They gave it everything for 90 minutes, to keep scoring goals, keep defending… Now we turn attentions to Wednesday’s semi-final of the Coupe de France away to Caen.

The 36th trophy in PSG’s short yet storied history, the Parisians exhibited a complete footballing clinic as a benediction to its supporters, especially the Colectif Paris Ultras, whose grievances with the Ligue de Football Professionel were heard loudly. Despite the protests from the CUP, it was business as usual for Paris, whose attention will now focus to the Coupe de France midweek against SM Caen.

“This title has a special feeling because in 2013 I won the league but I was the third ‘keeper,” said Alphonse Areola, who made a number of key stops to secured a dominant display at home. “Winning it as the first choice goalkeeper is even better. It’s symbolic to win it at home against Monaco, after the Trophée des Champions and the Coupe de la Ligue. We are very happy, but it’s not finished yet and we have more goals to reach this season.”

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The Argentines were on showcase, with Giovani Lo Celso (14′, 27′) and Angel Di Maria (20′ 58′) on song all game long. Edinson Cavani (17′) recorded his league-leading 25th goal of the season and Julian Draxler (86′) capped off a massive goal festival. Radamel Falcao (76′) was unlucky to score an own goal while Rony Lopes (38′) was the lone bright spot for the outgoing holders.

“It’s great to win the title against one of the best teams in the land,” said defender Marquinhos. “Winning 7-1 at home is great for the club and the supporters. When you look at the quality of the players we have in the squad, what we’ve achieved this season – we had our ups and downs, but tonight we are happy.”

Paris dominated shots (12 to 11), shots on target (seven to two), corners (four to two) and possession (60 percent to 40 percent). A horror first half injury to Djibril Sidibe added insult to injury for AS Monaco, whose brains trust elected to emulate the Seattle Sounders in 2010 and issue refunds to all traveling supporters to Le Parc.

“It’s important to win the league tonight, in front of our supporters and our families,” defender and captain Thiago Silva added. “It’s magnificent tonight. In the first half, we played high intensity like the coach asked. That’s what we worked on all week. Then we controlled the game. Our performance was almost perfect. We are happy because we have written another page into the history of our club and we are going to enjoy this moment.”

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“We are very happy with this performance,” owner Nasser Al-Khelaifi said. “To win the title against Monaco, the defending champions, with such an emphatic scoreline, I am obviously very happy and very proud of our players. We still have one more trophy to try and win. We play the Coupe de France semi-final this week against Caen. To finish the season in the best possible way, we hope to win the Coupe de France.”

Paris Saint-Germain’s next Ligue 1 match is on April 22 away to FC Girondins de Bordeaux at the Matmut Atlantique. Kickoff is scheduled for 12 p.m. PT/3 p.m. ET. With Kylian Mbappe rested on Sunday, the Prince of Paris is expected to put on a strong display fresh from recovering from a stomach ailment in the Coupe de France semis in the heart of Normandy and the Stade Michel d’Ornano in Caen, where PSG last year faced amateur side US Avranches and prevailed 4-0.

***Editor’s Note: PSG defeated Caen 3-1 in the Coupe de France, advancing to their fourth straight French Cup Final.

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Jo-Ryan Salazar is a writer for The Stoppage Time, a soccer blog powered by Azteca Soccer. A supporter of the Los Angeles Galaxy since 1996 and a committed supporter since 2002, Jo-Ryan also follows Chelsea FC, Melbourne Victory, FC Tokyo and Paris Saint-Germain. Apart from soccer, Jo-Ryan is an administrative assistant for a local nonprofit in Long Beach, California and also does photography, photo-editing and fictional writing.

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